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to the same authority, but a branch of Wickliffites, and the same principles gave birth to John Huss in Bohemia. All this was consecutive; the German barons afforded the same proteetion to Huss and his followers that the English had done to Wickliffe, and neither papal bulls nor Inquisition could reach them. The succession of Charles VII., and the calling together the Councils-general of Constance and of Bâsle, only weakened the hands of the Roman pontiff; the Gallican Church was gone for ever, and the seeds of reform sown by Wickliffe and Huss never perished, but bore good fruit in due season. Shedding blood on account of differences of opinion on the mysteries of the Church, or on its secular government, do not appear to have ever answered yet as a decisive way of settling these differences, although so frequently resorted to. Yet, in the face of the exterminations by the sword and fire, and the still more atrocious tortures of the Inquisition, Capefigue, who terminates his work with the above-mentioned three great events-the Councils of Constance and Bâsle, and the Pragmatic Sanction, by which the existence of the Gallican Church, apart from that of Rome, was finally recognised-three acts which terminated the history of the Western Church in the middle ages, by shaking almost to its basis “the strong and holy dictatorship of the popes.” Capefigue, who would still heal all doubts and discords among people by the balm of the Holy Inquisition, feels no scruple in asserting that “ The immense power of the popes and bishops, who framed society out of barbarism, employed no other force than that moral sword which was held up aloft and motionless as the St. Peter of the Vatican. Excommunication and suspension, the two strong measures of the Pope, were not carried out by the sword; the word, everywhere obeyed, sufficed: the popes never used it but in the interests of society, morality, or of the family!
We are promised further volumes in which the Western, or Roman Church, in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, will be treated of, in reference to the revival of Paganism and sensuality by philosophy and the arts; the history of the propagandism of Christianity in Asia and America ; the Reformation of Luther, “which was the awakening up of the flesh and of rebellion ;” and lastly, the history of the two orders, of which one was the glory and the force of the Church, the Company of Jesus; while the other, full of science, by some fatal destiny shook the sacred edifice to its foundations, these were the Oratorians, whose influence was so unfortunately mixed up with the French revolution and the civil constitution of the clergy. Finally, the History of the Church during the last four ages will form the complement of this work, devoted to the re-establishment of Papal supremacy and the benign rule of the Inquisition, showing that the battle fought ages ago may still have to be fought over again in our own times.
As a further proof of this lamentable state of things, let us turn to the pages of the well-known statesman, the Count de Montalembert, who justly enough premises that when we attempt to grapple with a subject which is attached to “the majestic immensity of Catholicism, the difficult thing is to restrict and to contain our efforts within precise limits." He accordingly commences with the year 1800, when there was no pope; for Pius VI. had just died an exile and a prisoner. Then was witnessed the most extraordinary scandal that ever stigmatised the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinals assembled under the protection of the very Church whose patriarchate they had usurped and contested for nigh twelve centuries—under the protection of Russians of the Greek Church
to discuss what they openly designated as a flagrant state of treason of Catholic Europe! An obscure monk was raised to the pontificate to give as little offence as possible, for the electors of Mayence, Cologne, Tréves, and Saltzbourg, had all united before the revolution, to protest against papal despotism, and popedom itself had now only a nominal existence. It remained within the policy of Napoleon-of him who had imposed upon the pontificate the cruel treaty of Tolentino, who in Egypt had flattered Islamism, and in Europe had incorporated the great seminary of Ghent into a waggon-train-to repair the misfortunes of the Vatican.
Passing rapidly to more recent times, M. de Montalembert proclaims that in placing his hand imprudently upon the Archbishop of Cologne, the Prussian government gave the signal to the whole German Church to arouse itself. The Polish Archbishop of Posen became, like De Droste, a prisoner for the faith. Görres proclaimed a new Athanasius, 6 and the roaring of this old lion did not remain without an echo." The revolution of 1848 most unexpectedly served the interests of popedom. At Frankfort, Vienna, Berlin, and Erfurt, the priests proclaimed liberty of conscience in political questions. At the very spot where Ronge had prophesied the fall of Papal Babylon, monks, Jesuits, and Franciscans reappeared in their abhorred frocks, and drew anxious crowds around them. At the very spot where Lola Montes, encouraged by the friends of intelligence and progress, had usurped the character of a victim of the Jesuits, à Catholic association saved an ungrateful monarchy. At the very seat of the great central Protestant association of Gustavus Adolphus, have risen up the powerful associations of Pius IX., of St. Charles Borromeo, and of St. Boniface, which march, with raised head and resistless step, to the conquest of Germany by faith and by charity.
Everywhere the sacred fire is being alighted. “A retired cavalry officer,” now the successor of St. Boniface, at Mayence, is founding an exclusively Romanist university at Fulda. In Austria, a young and chivalrous monarch inaugurates his reign by the emancipation of the Church, and already “millions” of Slaves have been brought over from being “schismatics” to “ Catholic unity.” In Belgium, debarred by the constitution from forming themselves into an association, the rebels against the “ Church” (for which read the despotism of an archbishop) make the press the vehicle of their outcries, while audacious impostors usurp the governmental power! But M. de Montalembert has confidence in the ancient pride of the Belgian clergy, and that it will ultimately triumph against its enemies.
Even Holland, according to the same authority, shows symptoms of regeneration. The number of Romanists amounts now to two-fifths of the whole population. They have obtained freedom of relation with the great focus of ecclesiastical dominion within, and of rebellion against their princes without—the Roman pontificate. Every day their number and their courage” increases.
But, according to M. de Montalembert, it is in France especially that the most wonderful change has taken place. The “ Church" is now
stronger, more animated, and more popular than at any epoch of modern history! All the powers that succeed to one another invoke its aid and sympathy, and dispute with one another the honour of proclaiming its indispensable influence—whether from motives of policy, or from pure love of the “ Church,” M. de Montalembert does not make very clear. Education is now thrown into the hands of the “ Church.” More houses are offered to the bishops than they can direct, more pupils to the Jesuits than they can instruct. They are employed alike in the government of the colonies, of children in Algiers, and in the moral reform of the penal colonies of Cayenne! The bishops of France have given to Christianity surprised the spectacle of thirteen provincial councils; and religious orders long since banished from the soil now establish and develop themselves in full freedom of action. The actual head of the state has also never ceased to renew his protestations of devotion to the Church since his first candidateship to supreme dignity.
Let us, however (says M. de Montalembert), pass the straits, and contemplate with respect and gratitude one of the most astounding spectacles that God has given to the world. England, that sovereign nation, heir and rival of ancient Rome, by the extent of its power, the durable majesty of its institutions, the energy of its policy, and perseverance in its designs ; England, so long dear and faithful to the Church, afterwards a rebel against its mother, and nevertheless overwhelmed with material prosperity in the midst of its apostacy; England, to whom nothing resists, and which braves with imprudence and im. punity perils before which other states have succumbed--this haughty and allpowerful England feels itself invaded, braved, and conquered by the invincible weakness of that Church which it has so often thought it had annihilated. She carries fastened to her fank, with the ever-living testimony of her capital fault, the instrument of her punishment, and which may become, when she chooses, that of Divine mercy towards her. Ireland, so long forgotten by all Europe, even where Catholic, has never forgotten its faith. It has lived one long life of ordeal, the martyr of her invincible love for the Church of Rome. Three ages of confiscations, persecutions, famine, and degradation, have passed over her head withont intimidating her or making her bend. She finished by giving birth to an avenger, but an avenger after the fashion of Christ, who saves us while he punishes us. A man arose, who, without ever having asked or received a favour, a title, or a decoration, has reigned for thirty years over his country-reigned over the hearts, the arms, nay, even the purse of five millions of men. He reigned without ever shedding a drop of blood, without having been engaged in a single violent or illegal struggle, by the force of language only—of that language, at once free yet regulated, that the marvellous institutions of England guarantees even to the adversaries of its domination. He has reigned, and his reign has done more than that of any modern king for the Catholic cause. He has received from his countrymen the title of Liberator, and posterity will preserve it for him, not for having delivered his country, which others may have done elsewhere, but for having delivered the Church of God in the most powerful empire of the world--a power that has hitherto been given to no one. It is he who, with Ireland at his back, came and knocked at the door of the English parliament. It opened, and the Catholics of the three kingdoms entered with him and for ever. The conqueror of Napoleon gave up his arms to the moral chief of a disarmed nation, but who became invincible by the force of right, and who preluded the defeat of his oppressors by the victory which he won over his own intemperance. The great and glorious Act of Catholic Emancipation was carried after fifty years of debates.
The Irish race, as fruitful as it is faithful, while it precipitates itself on all Dec.-VOL. XCVI. NO. CCCLXXXIV.
sides into the manufactures, the workshops, and public works, and still more especially the colonies, carries with it the true faith, emancipated for ever ; and that immense British empire, spread over the tive parts of the globe, and upon which it can be truly said the sun never sets, becomes, as did once the Roman empire, one vast nursery of episcopal seats and Catholic missions. (There are, says M. de Montalembert, on the authority of Petri, author of the work entitled Gerarchia della S. Chiesa in tutto l'orbe ; Roma, 1851, eightynine bishopricks or vicars-apostolic in the countries subjugated to the English crown.)
And that England should not be humiliated by this victory of a foreign and conquered race, God has permitted that there should have arisen, in the very bosom of the Anglican clergy itself, an unforeseen and prodigious movement towards tradition, towards authority, towards Roman unity. The faith of the great Alfred, of St. Anselm, and of St. Thomas of Canterbury, is reclaiming its rights in the minds of its repentant sons. After a long and useless struggle, inspired by the vain hope of finding a mean term between truth and error between unity and division-the select of the Anglican Church are seceding, and sacrificing benefices, riches, friendships, and family—are recruiting the legitimate militia of the sanctuary, or edifying the world by the humble fervour of their laical virtues. We have never participated in the dangerous dreams of those who have predicted with laughable assurance the total and immediate conversion of England ; still less do we participate in the passions of those who would arouse dormant and bygone antipathies against a nation so essential to the destiny of Catholicism in the whole world. But we hail with pleasure the gradual conquests of truth upon that soil, from whence it has been so long banished; those churches, those convents, those schools especially, which, under the shadow of the most complete freedom in education, rise up daily by the side of the old cathedrals and the old universities founded by Catholicism, and from which Catholicism is excluded; those twelve bishopricks, which barely, suffice for the spiritual wants of a kingdom in which, a century ago, a single vicar-apostolic was sufficient for a handful of the faithful, scattered about or secreted in by-places. These are the promises of a gradual and a sure revival. The return of England to Catholicism no longer depends, as in the time of James II., upon the will of a sovereign or an intrigue of court or cabinet; it is placed with liberty itself under the guardianship of that truly glorious constitution, founded in the first instance by the Catholics, and then sanctioned at their expense in 1688, but now become their shield and their safeguard.
Ah! truly, the fanaticism of heresy will not allow itself to be conquered in a day. Vulgar prejudices, the apprehensions of statesmen, the pertidious hatred of legislators (almost everywhere enemies of the Church), lay in store further ambuscades and further struggles whereby to try the patience and the courage of English Catholics. They will have more than one insult to put up with-minore than one fine to pay-more than one campaign to undergo, like that of the bill against Ecclesiastical Titles. But it will all be of no avail, no more than the bill itself; nor will anything that can be done give rise to any serious obstacle. Nothing can alter the tendency of events. Nothing can weaken the incomparable strength which the Catholic cause derives from publicity, from equity, from discussion so inseparable from the political habits and liberal institutions of England. Already, in the two chambers, the most eminent statesmen, the supporters of the great political principles of Sir Robert Peel, have generously maintained, at the price of their popularity for the moment, the rights of their Catholic countrymen; and, since the last elections, the Catholic phalanx sent by Ireland to the House of Commons becomes, in the midst of the struggle of parties, mistress of the situation. If these Catholic members can only conduct themselves with prudence and loyalty-if there arises a chief capable of guiding them, the future of Catholicism in England is assured. Oh mystery of the mercy and the power of God! Not a
century has elapsed since the first petition which aimed at obtaining the emancipation of the Catholics was kicked over the bar of that very House of Commons in which the elected of the Catholics are in the present day the arbiters of English policy!
It is well, at all events, to know what the Ultramontanists predict to us of our future. The claim for “ Religious Equality” will not come to us in the usual guise of an appeal to the just and liberal sentiments of Englishmen. It is here made to stand forth in its real and undisguised aspect of one step more towards a general conversion, and towards bend. ing the British neck' beneath the intolerable yoke of popedom. Let the Dissenters mark this fact. There is no telling how far nations may retrograde in their struggles towards freedom-moral and intellectual, and political and religious—witness France : its emperor and its Ultramontanists--the sword and the crozier once more ruling all things ; but freedom dearly bought is not easily scattered to the winds by Englishmen, nor are they as yet so disloyal as to wish to see their beloved queen under the dictatorship of a cardinal ; or are they so weary of their liberty of conscience as to be anxiously awaiting for their own bodies or those of their friends and relatives being delivered over to the tender mercies of Franciscan or Dominican inquisitors. It is evident that if, according to the Ultramontanists, the Inquisition was more than justified by the trifling schisms of the early Church, and that persecution, torture, and extermination were pleasing to the Saviour and his Vicar, that in the case of the wide-spread, flagrant, and stubborn heresies of the present, something still more terrifying and convincing must be had recourse to -something, for example, after the Irish fashion, compounded of the steam-engine and the balista, by which whole hosts of recreant heretics may be smashed at a time, and heresy itself extirpated wholesale from the land.
It is not a little agreeable that, in return for these well-wishes of an adverse sect, we have it in our power to remark that with liberty of conscience we have at least some religious feeling extant in this country. In France, on the contrary, with all the blessings of a true faith, the protection of the Vicar of Christ, and a certain salvation, there is little or no sentiment of religion remaining. Had such been in existence, rebellion, communism, socialism, and red republicanism, which required so strong a hand to put down, could never have reared their gory heads.* Better than such a state of things, in politics, a military dictatorshipbetter than such a state of things, Franciscans and Dominicans, and all the militia of the Pope, to drill the consciences and subject the bodies and intellects of the people. But, during very trying times, there have been no evidences of infidelity or disloyalty in this country, t and during the
* Monseigneur Rendu, Bishop of Annecy, in his work entitled “ De la Liberté et de l'Avenir de la République Française,” says: “Do you know why, as is acknowledged by politicians of every description, America is a country with a future? It is not because it has a virgin, fertile, boundless soil, but because it has not, by disgraceful laws, shut the doors against truth. Neither has it proscribed error; but when error does not enjoy the privileges of monopoly, it soon disappears and gives way to truth. Our corrupt civilisation cannot bear the idea of truth, because it has no longer the courage of virtue.”
† “In an age of slavery,” said Macaulay, in his “ History of the Revolution of 1688,” “the English were possessed of liberty; that is why, in our days, they have order in an age of anarchy.”